Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Curtis Stigers Hooray For Love Concord 2014

Curtis Stigers is the rare breed of talent that can embrace the Great American Songbook while keeping the music utterly contemporary. A resounding triumph!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Hooray For Love is old school pop. Jazz was the original pop music, Curtis Stigers may well be the one artist that can go back to the future and tap into a new audience. To keep things fresh, Stigers drops the Steve Earle tune "Valentine's Day"  and does an infectious duet with the great Cyrille Aimee on "You Make Me Feel So Young." Curtis offers up some righteous originals with the title track "Hooray For Love" and "Give Your Heart To Me."
The selections offered up from the Great American Songbook include imaginative arrangements on "Love Is Here To Stay" and "You Don't Know What Love Is." The quintet featured works with Stigers lyrical sense of purpose like a jazz collective rather than five afterthoughts. Curtis Stigers exponential growth with this release is nothing short of amazing. There are rare recordings when all the stars are in perfect alignment, Hooray For Love is the embodiment of what happens when everything works.
Far more than a saxophonist, singer, songwriter we find Curtis Stigers coming out party as a premier vocal artist with a release that is far and away tops in the more traditional jazz idiom. If Nat King Cole were alive today, he would make records like this!
Tracks: Love Is Here To Stay; Valentine's Day; You Make Me Feel So Young; Hooray For Love; The Way You Look Tonight; Give Your Heart To Me; That's All; A Matter Of Time; If I Were A Bell; You Don't Know What Love Is.
Personnel: Matthew Fries: Piano; Keith Hall Drums; Cliff Schmidt: Bass; Matt Munisteri: Guitar; John "Scapper" Sneider: Trumpet.